Press / Media: Research

- Mark A. J. Chaplain

New research finds the perfect formula for wrapping a Christmas present

Christmas is a time for giving and receiving but there is one part of the festive season that has many of us pulling our hair out - wrapping presents. Most of us find it a painful procedure and use rolls of wrapping paper only to end up with a selection of presents which look as though the family pet has wrapped them.

This year by following a simple formula devised by Woolworths, consumers can make sure the presents look as though they have been wrapped professionally with minimum fuss and limited wastage.

Woolworths commissioned Dundee University to help solve one of the biggest Christmas headaches by coming up with a formula that people could use when wrapping presents. After long hours wrapping presents over and over again and with more than a little help from mathematics, Professor Mark Chaplain, Division of Mathematics at Dundee University has devised the following formula, where

L= Length

B = Breadth

H = Height

X = overlap length of paper on the top

The dimensions of the paper should be (2L+2H+X) cm long and (B+2H) cm wide giving an area of

(2L+2H+X)(B+2H) cm2

By using a generic rectangular box as a base for the research, the mathematicians were able to devise a formula, which would help consumers know exactly how much paper to use depending on the measurements of the present. The formula makes sure that the amount of overlapping paper can be adjusted to the wrapper's personal preference, and is enough for the present to be wrapped perfectly.

Professor Chaplain of Dundee University said;" When I was asked to get involved in the project I was intrigued because I felt it was a problem that could easily be solved using mathematics. This formula, although based around rectangular-shaped objects, can be used for many different presents to make sure the amount of wrapping paper used is the correct amount."

Nicole Lander of Woolworths commented;" We sell x amount of wrapping paper a year and don't want to see any of it going to waste. This formula will help make sure that presents under the Christmas tree this year are looking the best they possibly can."

For more press information call:

Nicole Lander Paul Petrie

Woolworths Joe Public Relations 020 7706 5653 or 020 8237 4027

nicole.lander@woolworths.co.uk paulp@joepublicrelations.co.uk

Mark Chaplain

University of Dundee

01382 345369/ 07771 716 543

By Jane Smernicki, Press Officer 01382 344768 j.m.smernicki@dundee.ac.uk

Title | Christmas formula (2L+2H+X)(B+2H) cm2 |
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Date | 19/12/02 |

Persons | Mark A. J. Chaplain |